VII: Đ Layn and ɖ Yṇcorn

33

Ɖ

 nxt momnt soljrz cem runñ ʈru ɖ wŭd, at frst in tuz n ʈriz, ɖen ten or twenti tgɖr, n at last in sć crǎdz ɖt ɖe sīmd t fil ɖ hol forist. Alis got bhnd a tri, fr fir v biyñ run ovr, n woćt ɖm g bî.

Ś ʈt ɖt in ol hr lîf ś hd nvr sìn soljrz so unsrtn on ɖer fīt: ɖe wr olwz tripñ ovr smʈñ or uɖr, n ẃnvr wn wnt dǎn, sevṛl mor olwz fél ovr him, so ɖt ɖ grǎnd wz sn cuvrd wɖ litl hīps v men.

Ɖen cem ɖ horsz. Hvñ for fīt, ɖz manijd rɖr betr ɖn ɖ ftsoljrz: bt īvn ɖe stumbld nǎ n ɖen; n it sīmd t b a reğlr rūl ɖt, ẃnvr a hors stumbld ɖ rîdr fél of instntli. Ɖ cnfyźn got wrs evri momnt, n Alis wz vri glad t gt ǎt v ɖ wŭd intu an opn ples, ẃr ś faund ɖ Ẃît Cñ sītd on ɖ grǎnd, biẓli raitñ in hiz meṃrandm-bc.

“I’v snt ɖm ol!” ɖ Cñ craid in a ton v dlît, on siyñ Alis. “Dd y hapn t mīt eni soljrz, mî dir, az y cem ʈru ɖ wŭd?”

“Yes, I dd,” sd Alis: “sevṛl ʈǎznd, I śd ʈnc.”

“For ʈǎznd tū hundṛd n sevn, ɖt’s ɖ xact numbr,” ɖ Cñ sd, rfŕñ t hiz bc. “I cd’nt snd ol ɖ horsz, y nǒ, bcz tū v ɖm r wontd in ɖ gem. N I hv’nt snt ɖ tū Mesinjrz, îɖr. Ɖ’r bʈ gn t ɖ tǎn. Jst lc alñ ɖ rod, n tel m f y cn si îɖr v ɖm.”

“I si nbdi on ɖ rod,” sd Alis.

“I onli wś I hd sć îz,” ɖ Cñ rmarct in a fretfl ton. “T b ebl t si Nbdi! N at ɖt distns, tù! Ẃ, it’s az mć az I cn d t si riyl ppl, bî ɖs lît!”

Ol ɖs wz lost on Alis, hu wz stl lcñ intntli alñ ɖ rod, śêdñ hr îz wɖ wn hand. “I si smbdi nǎ!” ś xclemd at last. “Bt h’z cmñ vri slǒli—n ẃt krịs attydz h gz intu!” (Fr ɖ mesinjr cept scipñ p n dǎn, n riġlñ lîc an īl, az h cem alñ, wɖ hiz gret handz spred ǎt lîc fanz on ć sîd.)

“Nt at ol,” sd ɖ Cñ. “H’z an Anglo-Saxn Mesinjr—n ɖoz r Anglo-Saxn attydz. H onli dz ɖm ẃn h’z hapi. Hiz nem z Haia.” (H pṛnǎnst it so az t rîm wɖ “mẹr.”)

“I luv mî luv wɖ an ‘H’,” Alis cd’nt hlp bginñ, “bcz h z Hapi. I het him wɖ an H, bcz h z Hidịs. I féd him wɖ—wɖ—wɖ Hamsanẉjz n Hei. Hiz nem z Haia, n h livz—”

“H livz on ɖ Hil,” ɖ Cñ rmarct simpli, wɖt ɖ līst îdīa ɖt h wz jônñ in ɖ gem, ẃl Alis wz stl heztetñ fr ɖ nem v a tǎn bginñ wɖ ‘H’. “Ɖ uɖr Mesinjr’z cōld Hata. I mst hv , y nǒ—t cm n g. Wn t cm, n wn t g.”

“I beg yr pardn?” sd Alis.

“It z’nt rspctbl t beg,” sd ɖ Cñ.

“I onli mnt ɖt I dd’nt unḍstand,” sd Alis. “Ẃ wn t cm n wn t g?”

“Dd’nt I tel y?” ɖ Cñ rpitd impeśntli. “I mst hv —t feć n cari. Wn t feć, n wn t cari.”

At ɖs momnt ɖ Mesinjr arîvd: h wz far tù mć ǎt v breʈ t se a wrd, n cd onli wev hiz handz abt, n mc ɖ most firfl fesz at ɖ pur Cñ.

“Ɖs yuñ ledi luvz y wɖ an ‘H’,” ɖ Cñ sd, intṛdysñ Alis in ɖ hop v trnñ of ɖ Mesinjr’z atnśn fṛm himslf—bt it wz no ys—ɖ Anglo-Saxn attydz onli got mor xtrordnri evri momnt, ẃl ɖ gret îz rold wîldli fṛm sîd t sîd.

“Y alarm m!” sd ɖ Cñ. “I fīl fent—Gv m a ham sanwij!”

On ẃć ɖ Mesinjr, t Alis’z gret aḿzmnt, opnd a bag ɖt huñ rnd hiz nec, n handd a sanwij t ɖ Cñ, hu dvǎrd it grīḍli.

35

“Anɖr sanwij!” sd ɖ Cñ.

“Ɖr’z nʈñ bt hei left nǎ,” ɖ Mesinjr sd, pīpñ intu ɖ bag.

“Hei, ɖen,” ɖ Cñ mrmrd in a fent ẃispr.

Alis wz glad t si ɖt it rvîvd him a gd dīl. “Ɖr’z nʈñ lîc ītñ hei ẃn y’r fent,” h rmarct t hr, az h munćt awe.

“I śd ʈnc ʈrowñ cold wōtr ovr y wd b betr,” Alis sjstd: “or sm salvolaṭli.”

“I dd’nt se ɖr wz nʈñ betr,” ɖ Cñ rplaid. “I sd ɖr wz nʈñ lîc it.” Ẃć Alis dd nt vnćr t dnî.

“Hu dd y pas on ɖ rod?” ɖ Cñ wnt on, holdñ ǎt hiz hand t ɖ Mesinjr fr sm mor hei.

“Nbdi,” sd ɖ Mesinjr.

“Qt rît,” sd ɖ Cñ: “ɖs yuñ ledi sw him tù. So v cors Nbdi wōcs slowr ɖn y.”

“I d mî bst,” ɖ Mesinjr sd in a sulci ton. “I’m śr nbdi wōcs mć fastr ɖn I d!”

“H c’nt d ɖt,” sd ɖ Cñ, “or els h’d hv bn hir frst. Hvr, nǎ y’v got yr breʈ, y me tel s ẃt’s hapnd in ɖ tǎn.”

“I’l ẃispr it,” sd ɖ Mesinjr, ptñ hiz handz t hiz mǎʈ in ɖ śep v a trumpit, n stūpñ so az t gt clos t ɖ Cñ’z ir. Alis wz sori fr ɖs, az ś wontd t hír ɖ nyz tù. Hvr, instd v ẃisṗrñ, h simpli śǎtd at ɖ top v hiz vôs “Ɖ’r at it agn!”

“D y cōl ɖt a ẃispr?” craid ɖ pur Cñ, jumpñ p n śecñ himslf. “F y d sć a ʈñ agn, I’l hv y butrd! It wnt ʈru n ʈru mî hed lîc an rʈqec!”

“It wd hv t b a vri tîni rʈqec!” ʈt Alis. “Hu r at it agn?” ś vnćrd t asc.

“Ẃ, ɖ Layn n ɖ Yṇcorn, v cors,” sd ɖ Cñ.

“Fîtñ fr ɖ crǎn?”

“Yes, t b śr,” sd ɖ Cñ: “n ɖ bst v ɖ joc z, ɖt it’s  crǎn ol ɖ ẃl! Let’s run n si ɖm.” N ɖe trotd of, Alis rpitñ t hrslf, az ś ran, ɖ wrdz v ɖ old soñ:—

“Ɖ Layn n ɖ Yṇcorn wr fîtñ fr ɖ crǎn:

   Ɖ Layn bìt ɖ Yṇcorn ol rnd ɖ tǎn.

   Sm gev ɖm ẃît bred, sm gev ɖm brǎn;

   Sm gev ɖm plum cec n drumd ɖm ǎt v tǎn.”

“Dz—ɖ wn—ɖt winz—gt ɖ crǎn?” ś asct, az wel az ś cd, fr ɖ run wz ptñ hr qt ǎt v breʈ.

“Dir m, no!” sd ɖ Cñ. “Ẃt an îdīa!”

“Wd y—b gd inuf,” Alis pantd ǎt, aftr runñ a litl frɖr, “t stop a minit—jst t gt—wn’z breʈ agn?”

“I’m gd inuf,” ɖ Cñ sd, “onli I’m nt stroñ inuf. Y si, a minit gz bî so firf̣li qc. Y mt az wel trî t stop a Banḍsnać!”

Alis hd no mor breʈ fr tōcñ, so ɖe trotd on in sîḷns, tl ɖe cem in sît v a gret crǎd, in ɖ midl v ẃć ɖ Layn n Yṇcorn wr fîtñ. Ɖe wr in sć a clǎd v dust, ɖt at frst Alis cd nt mc ǎt ẃć wz ẃć: bt ś sn manijd t dstnḡś ɖ Yṇcorn bî hiz horn.

Ɖe plest ɖmslvz clos t ẃr Hata, ɖ uɖr mesinjr, wz standñ woćñ ɖ fît, wɖ a cup v ti in wn hand n a pìs v bred n butr in ɖ uɖr.

36

“H’z onli jst ǎt v prizn, n h hd’nt finiśt hiz ti ẃn h wz snt in,” Haia ẃisprd t Alis: “n ɖe onli gv ɖm ôstr-ślz in ɖr—so y si h’z vri hungri n ʈrsti. Hǎ r y, dir ćîld?” h wnt on, ptñ hiz arm afx́ṇtli rnd Hata’z nec.

Hata lct rnd n nodd, n wnt on wɖ hiz bred n butr.

“Wr y hapi in prizn, dir ćîld?” sd Haia.

Hata lct rnd wns mor, n ɖs tîm a tir or tū tricld dǎn hiz ćīc: bt nt a wrd wd h se.

“Spīc, c’nt y!” Haia craid impeśntli. Bt Hata onli munćt awe, n dranc sm mor ti.

“Spīc, w’nt y!” craid ɖ Cñ. “Hǎ r ɖe gtñ on wɖ ɖ fît?”

Hata md a despṛt ef̣t, n swoloud a larj pìs v bred n butr. “Ɖ’r gtñ on vri wel,” h sd in a ćocñ vôs: “ć v ɖm hz bn dǎn abt eti-sevn tîmz.”

“Ɖen I s’poz ɖ’l sn brñ ɖ ẃît bred n ɖ brǎn?” Alis vnćrd t rmarc.

“It’s wêtñ fr ’m nǎ,” sd Hata: “ɖs z a bit v it az I’m ītñ.”

Ɖr wz a pōz in ɖ fît jst ɖen, n ɖ Layn n ɖ Yṇcorn sat dǎn, pantñ, ẃl ɖ Cñ cōld ǎt “Ten minits alaud fr rfreśmnts!” Haia n Hata set t wrc at wns, cariyñ ruf trez v ẃît n brǎn bred. Alis tc a pìs t test, bt it wz vri drî.

“I d’nt ʈnc ɖ’l fît eni mor tde,” ɖ Cñ sd t Hata: “g n ordr ɖ drumz t bgin.” N Hata wnt bǎndñ awe lîc a grashópr.

Fr a minit or tū Alis std sîḷnt, woćñ him. Sudnli ś brîtnd p. “Lc, lc!” ś craid, pôntñ īgrli. “Ɖr’z ɖ Ẃît Qīn runñ acrs ɖ cuntri! Ś cem flayñ ǎt v ɖ wŭd ovr yondr—Hǎ fast ɖoz Qīnz cn run!”

“Ɖr’z sm eṇmi aftr hr, no dǎt,” ɖ Cñ sd, wɖt īvn lcñ rnd. “Ɖt wŭd’z fl v ɖm.”

“Bt r’nt y gwñ t run n hlp hr?” Alis asct, vri mć s’prîzd at hiz tecñ it so qaytli.

“No ys, no ys!” sd ɖ Cñ. “Ś runz so firf̣li qc. Y mt az wel trî t cać a Banḍsnać! Bt I’l mc a meṃrandm abt hr, f y lîc—Ś’z a dir gd crīćr,” h rpitd softli t himslf, az h opnd hiz meṃrandm-bc. “D y spel ‘crīćr’ wɖ a dubl ‘E’?”

At ɖs momnt ɖ Yṇcorn sōntrd bî ɖm, wɖ hiz handz in hiz pocits. “I hd ɖ bst v it ɖs tîm?” h sd t ɖ Cñ, jst glansñ at him az h pást.

“A litl—a litl,” ɖ Cñ rplaid, rɖr nrṿsli. “Y śd’nt hv run him ʈru wɖ yr horn, y nǒ.”

“It dd’nt hrt him,” ɖ Yṇcorn sd cerlisli, n h wz gwñ on, ẃn hiz î hapnd t fōl upn Alis: h trnd rnd rɖr instntli, n std fr sm tîm lcñ at hr wɖ an er v ɖ dīpist dsgust.

“Ẃt—z—ɖs?” h sd at last.

“Ɖs z a ćîld!” Haia rplaid īgrli, cmñ in frunt v Alis t intṛdys hr, n spredñ ǎt bʈ hiz handz twdz hr in an Anglo-Saxn attyd. “W onli faund it tde. It’s az larj az lîf, n twîs az naćṛl!”

“I olwz ʈt ɖe wr fabyḷs monstrz!” sd ɖ Yṇcorn. “Z it alîv?”

“It cn tōc,” sd Haia, soḷmli.

Ɖ Yṇcorn lct drīṃli at Alis, n sd “Tōc, ćîld.”

Alis cd nt hlp hr lips crlñ p intu a smîl az ś bgan: “D y nǒ, I olwz ʈt Yṇcornz wr fabyḷs monstrz, tù! I nvr sw wn alîv bfr!”

“Wel, nǎ ɖt w hv sìn ć uɖr,” sd ɖ Yṇcorn, “f y’l b’liv in m, I’l b’liv in y. Z ɖt a bargin?”

“Yes, f y lîc,” sd Alis.

“Cm, feć ǎt ɖ plum cec, old man!” ɖ Yṇcorn wnt on, trnñ fṛm hr t ɖ Cñ. “Nn v yr brǎn bred fr m!”

“Srtnli—srtnli!” ɖ Cñ mutrd, n becnd t Haia. “Opn ɖ bag!” h ẃisprd. “Qc! Nt ɖt wn—ɖt’s fl v hei!”

Haia tc a larj cec ǎt v ɖ bag, n gev it t Alis t hold, ẃl h got ǎt a diś n carvñnîf. Hǎ ɖe ol cem ǎt v it Alis cd’nt ges. It wz jst lîc a cunɉrñtric, ś ʈt.

Ɖ Layn hd jônd ɖm ẃl ɖs wz gwñ on: h lct vri tîrd n slīpi, n hiz îz wr haf śut. “Ẃt’s ɖs!” h sd, blincñ leẓli at Alis, n spīcñ in a dīp holo ton ɖt sǎndd lîc ɖ tolñ v a gret bel.

“Ā, ẃt z it, nǎ?” ɖ Yṇcorn craid īgrli. “Y’l nvr ges! I cd’nt.”

Ɖ Layn lct at Alis wiṛli. “R y animl—vejtbl—or minṛl?” h sd, yōnñ at evri uɖr wrd.

“It’s a fabyḷs monstr!” ɖ Yṇcorn craid ǎt, bfr Alis cd rplî.

“Ɖen hand rnd ɖ plum cec, Monstr,” ɖ Layn sd, layñ dǎn n ptñ hiz ćin on hiz pwz. “N sit dǎn, bʈ v y,” (t ɖ Cñ n ɖ Yṇcorn): “fer ple wɖ ɖ cec, y nǒ!”

Ɖ Cñ wz evidntli vri uncumf̣tbl at hvñ t sit dǎn btwn ɖ tū gret crīćrz; bt ɖr wz no uɖr ples fr him.

“Ẃt a fît w mt hv fr ɖ crǎn, !” ɖ Yṇcorn sd, lcñ slîli p at ɖ crǎn, ẃć ɖ pur Cñ wz nirli śecñ of hiz hed, h trembld so mć.

“I śd win īzi,” sd ɖ Layn.

“I’m nt so śr v ɖt,” sd ɖ Yṇcorn.

“Ẃ, I bìt y ol rnd ɖ tǎn, y ćicn!” ɖ Layn rplaid angṛli, haf gtñ p az h spouc.

Hir ɖ Cñ inṭruptd, t privnt ɖ qoṛl gwñ on: h wz vri nrṿs, n hiz vôs qt qivrd. “Ol rnd ɖ tǎn?” h sd. “Ɖt’s a gd loñ we. Dd y g bî ɖ old brij, or ɖ marcitples? Y gt ɖ bst vy bî ɖ old brij.”

“I’m śr I d’nt nǒ,” ɖ Layn grǎld ǎt az h le dǎn agn. “Ɖr wz tù mć dust t si enʈñ. Ẃt a tîm ɖ Monstr z, cutñ p ɖt cec!”

Alis hd sītd hrslf on ɖ banc v a litl brŭc, wɖ ɖ gret diś on hr niz, n wz sw̃ awe dilijntli wɖ ɖ nîf. “It’s vri pṛvocñ!” ś sd, in rplî t ɖ Layn (ś wz gtñ qt yst t biyñ cōld “ɖ Monstr”). “I’v cut sevṛl slîsz olrdi, bt ɖe olwz jôn on agn!”

“Y d’nt nǒ hǎ t manij Lcñglas cecs,” ɖ Yṇcorn rmarct. “Hand it rnd frst, n cut it aftwdz.”

Ɖs sǎndd nonsns, bt Alis vri obījntli got p, n carid ɖ diś rnd, n ɖ cec dvîdd itslf intu ʈri pìsz az ś dd so. “ cut it p,” sd ɖ Layn, az ś rtrnd t hr ples wɖ ɖ emti diś.

37

“I se, ɖs z’nt fer!” craid ɖ Yṇcorn, az Alis sat wɖ ɖ nîf in hr hand, vri mć puzld hǎ t bgin. “Ɖ Monstr hz gvn ɖ Layn twîs az mć az m!”

“Ś’z cept nn fr hrslf, enhǎ,” sd ɖ Layn. “D y lîc plum cec, Monstr?”

Bt bfr Alis cd ansr him, ɖ drumz bgan.

* * * * * * *

38

Ẃr ɖ nôz cem fṛm, ś cd’nt mc ǎt: ɖ er sīmd fl v it, n it rañ ʈru n ʈru hr hed tl ś flt qt defnd. Ś startd t hr fīt n sprañ acrs ɖ litl brŭc in hr terr,

* * * * * *

* * * * * * *

n hd jst tîm t si ɖ Layn n ɖ Yṇcorn rîz t ɖer fīt, wɖ angri lcs at biyñ inṭruptd in ɖer fīst, bfr ś dropt t hr niz, n pt hr handz ovr hr irz, venli trayñ t śut ǎt ɖ dredfl upror.

“F ɖt dz’nt ‘drum ɖm ǎt v tǎn’,” ś ʈt t hrslf, “nʈñ evr wl!”


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